The US government has advised its citizens to avoid one of Islamabad’s most prominent hotels on fears of a terror attack.
“The embassy is aware of a general but uncorroborated threat against the Marriott hotel in Islamabad,” said a travel warning posted on the US embassy’s website on Saturday.
“US citizens are advised to avoid the area for the next several days to allow time to assess the situation,” it said.
The Marriott hotel was targeted in a suicide truck bombing on September 20, 2008 which killed more than 54 people and injured dozens. Several Americans were among the dead but most casualties were Pakistanis.
The embassy reminded US citizens that there was an active travel warning for Pakistan issued on April 7, 2016 and a worldwide travel alert issued on November 23, 2015.
“US citizens are urged to defer all non-essential travel to Pakistan. US citizens in Pakistan are strongly urged to avoid hotels that do not apply stringent security measures,” the statement said.
“The Mission reminds those US citizens considering travel to or remaining in Pakistan despite this warning to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrolment Program, keep a trusted friend informed of your movements in country, maintain vigilant situational awareness, avoid large crowds, keep a low profile, and avoid visiting locations frequented by Westerners,” it added.
The message pointed out that official US Mission personnel and visitors were not allowed to use public transportation and were not authorised to stay overnight in hotels in Pakistan.
“US citizens should exercise caution when travelling in the country, keeping in mind the high security threat level,” the advisory said.
US travellers were also asked to vary their times and routes when travelling anywhere in Pakistan.